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Posts: 9,479
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: CA
Message 11 of 16 (578 Views)

Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

An external RAM drive isn't very commonplace, but it'd be kinda neat to have one.

You can't add a graphics card without changing the entire motherboard. An external ViDock solution isn't pretty, but it works... to an extent.

W520: 2960XM, Q2000M @ 1091/1380, 32GB RAM, 500GB&750GB HDD & 500GB SSD, FHD&MB168B+
X61T: L7500, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
W550s: 5600U, K620M at 1164/1281, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 3K touchscreen
X200s: SL9400, 6GB RAM, 64GB SD card, WXGA+ screen
TPT1: 1839-23U
Posts: 54
Registered: ‎02-07-2010
Location: California
Message 12 of 16 (566 Views)

Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

[ Edited ]

Uh... I hope you realize it is implemented in the drivers.

FYI the there is no upgradable graphics card in your T410... Perhaps you might want to clarify what you mean by "computer pro?"

I should also remark the T410 was released in Jan 2010 *with* non switchable NVS3100m graphics.

Go increase your RAM, that would be the best option you have.

Also why don't you explain what application and software suites you run, it would better assist us in assisting you.

Token Ring
Posts: 208
Registered: ‎11-08-2010
Location: BC, Canada
Message 13 of 16 (558 Views)

Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

"1000-3000 cycles realistic, go for few months of data retention. Also most calculations like to handwave wear amplification and other fun. Typical casual SSD users will report very low wear but seeing you say you are a pro and like to drive your Thinkpad the way engineers would drive blade racks, I hope you enjoy months of practical life."

Actually, SSD's last several years. Please check this article for details. (

In case you don't care to read it, let me summarize.

First off: SSD's do wear out over time. There's no current question about that. But, by the time you've reached that point you've already got a new computer anyways- in about 10 years of constant writes.

There are several technologies that are now in place to help alleviate any possible drops in performance, such as idle garbage collection and the TRIM command.

Intel has numbers that can verify that you can write (to their drives anyways) 100 GB of data every day for the next 5 years and barring standard failure (as hard drives are prone to as well) your data will survive.
These numbers are realistic since I doubt you'll be writing 100 GB of data every day, and wear leveling algorithms are very good.
In real-world usage the closest you can come to this is having an intensively-used pagefile on an SSD.

Besides- when all available write cycles have been exhausted (since reading the SSD doesn't actually take life away from it) all that happens is that your drive becomes read-only.

The reviews and numbers don't actually lie as some may have you believe. Go read any review that includes a hard drive and boot time comparison. They don't give any advantages to SSDs or disadvantages to mechanical disks. If you had that same configuration you would be able to produce those same results- that includes a clean install of Windows, by the way.

A ViDock (either bought or DIY) might also be able to help you but beware of the fact that doing that will make your laptop's built-in screen rather useless unless you have a Fermi-class card to install (in which case the Optimus driver will help you). It also won't provide the performance of the same graphics card installed in a desktop but it will give you a boost.

Also, here's a [computer] pro tip for Navck.
Go back under your bridge, troll.
Advice isn't useful when peppered with personal attacks.
Serial Port
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎04-02-2011
Location: San francisco,ca
Message 14 of 16 (550 Views)

Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

Thanks for the responses.  I am surprised at the knowledge that my laptop has a NVS3100 as mentioned, because there is no mention of any other graphics chip when i run the  product spec  using my  order number in this website.  It produced the spec as i had given in the very first post - only shows intel built in graphics.   So, if this indeed available, can i activate this nvidia chip instead of  intel built in ?  I am not a hardware pro, but i put together my own  desktop,  from  parts, in the past.  So, i thought, similarly,  i might be able to add in something to  replace the built in graphics chip.  I guess laptops have not evolved to that extent, yet.

Serial Port
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎04-02-2011
Location: San francisco,ca
Message 15 of 16 (458 Views)

Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

hi  navck, colonel and q-ball,


thanks for your responses;  i decided to revive this thread because after 2 yrs of running 15hrs a day,  my  T410 has proved its  stability and reliability beyond any other PC i owned in the past 15 yrs.  There were SSD caused problems in pagefiles, reported in some other thread. So, i waited on the SSD for a while. The market  and technology have improved in last year.  So, for 2 yrs i ran the T410 stock, and it has been stable and reliable, except for some overheating problem that has come up - i am guessing fan getting dust accumulation and not cooling it enough in the past 6 months of its life. I bought a laptop cooler that goes underneath it, which fixed the overheating and BSOD problem.


So, I am back to performance issues/improvements.   I think  navck's  has a point about SSD.  But  certainly  the performance of SSD is not in question (just take a look at  wiki for numbers or any other performance tests).


The lifespan of SSD is not in question, after reading numerous threads on SSDs and people swapping their HDD in thinkpads with SSD. Check out


I don't think i will be downloading 10GB/day on the only app that runs (aside from 10 tabs on the IE9).  Come to think of it the app i am running could be the bottleneck, because taskmanager reports 1GB still available out of the 4GB i have.  Going to write to the engineers of  this app (called thinkorswim from TD ameritrade brokerage).   For serious performance improvement i have only two options:


  1.  Buy a reliable SSD (Samsung 830/840 or Intel 330) and swap it for the HDD (less than 100GB used). Then move the HDD to  ultrabay using  the lenovo SATA adapter for the HDD. I can run the OS/pagefile in  SSD and store my apps/data on the HDD for safety. Alternatively i can keep everything on the SSD and backup the system every weekend using lenovo backup/restore utility.  If i get a complete system crash, including the Q partition, i can restore it all using this utility (is my guess).
  2.  The second option for performance boost is to throw away the two 2GB  SODIMM and buy two new 4GB for the 2 slots that are occupied now, to double my RAM.

Not sure how much of a gain i would see, since the major bottleneck  could be the app itself. I run over 10 detached windows in TOS,  but taskmanager reports that 1GB is still available out of the 4GB.  (About 75% of RAM used, with one major app + 10 tabs on the IE9).  This app downloads data in realtime, but network is not the bottleneck (I have cable modem with 25-35MB/sec download speed). 


The other potential source of bottleneck could be the GPU. Device driver reports  Intel HD graphics integrated into this T410. But the  specs (  say that  there is a  256MB  NVIDIA quadro NVS3100M   available;  i  have not yet figured out how to activate the NVS because i am not sure how it compares to the integrated  Intel graphics chipset.  It would be great to hear some suggestions on this front.  Could it be possible that the intel graphics is at its limits in dealing with constant update of video data in realtime  from thinkorswim ?


Thanks for any input.



Posts: 226
Registered: ‎10-07-2012
Location: md, us
Message 16 of 16 (449 Views)

Re: thinkpad performance improvement and bruised fingertips

in my T430, gpu can be enabled in the BIOS.

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